- Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections
- Home Made Visible collection
- Watada family videos : autumn leaves
Watada family videos : autumn leaves
Item consists of a Japanese-Canadian family’s home movie featuring individuals walking down the street and children playing in autumn leaves. Project and donor(s) contributed description follows: "Terry Watada became interested in his family history when he realized his parents were forced into internment camps by the Canadian government during World War II. The youngest of two boys and with an 18-year age gap, he only came to know this history in his late teens. The footage selected shows glimpses of Terry’s childhood and features community members with whom he grew up. A small clip shows Terry wearing his cub scout uniform. In 1959, he was eight-years-old and was part of the 45th cub scout "wolf pack"; he later became a scout until the age of 17. The families on the farm near the beginning of the footage feature the Watada family visiting the Itos in Cooksville, Ontario. Mr. Ito had connections with Terry’s father when he lived in BC; Mr. Ito was a former employee of Matsujiro Watada. Because his father helped with the down payment of their farm, the Watadas would receive bushels of vegetables every season during Terry’s childhood. A prominent feature of his childhood, Terry and his family attended organized community picnics along with other members of the Japanese Canadian community in Toronto. A game played was the catching of mochi balls. A coveted gift since the process to make it by hand was time consuming. The picnic near the end of the selected home movies depicts a Shinto lion dance (around 68’ or 69’). There were always religious undertones at these picnics, either Buddhist or Shinto along with the Obon festival that would take place every year. The religious undertone would shift as they became an event that no longer only catered to a Japanese audience."